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Meet the 2020 Cohort

Karabo Makole is currently studying for a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. He has been repeatedly elected class representative for his year for the duration of his time at UCT and is an avid Engineers Without Borders volunteer, where he has previously served as Project Leader. He currently sits on the executive committees of The Consulting Club and the UCT student chapter of the South African Institute of Civil Engineers (SAICE). He is an advocate of driving change towards circular and sustainable resource economies in emerging markets through engineering and entrepreneurship. To this end he is the director of Spectrum Solar Solutions, a renewable energy company he co-founded which aims to give Africans an alternative to reliance upon unstable national grids.

Khanya Mamba matriculated in 2017 from Beaulieu College in Johannesburg, and is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Business Science degree in Finance and Accounting at UCT. Her most notable leadership experience at the university includes her service as an executive member of her residence house committee (treasurer), and as the Project Head of the SHAWCO Education Little Moon project (teaching Maths and English to grade 1 to 3 learners in Nyanga). She currently serves on the executive of the UCT Investing Society as finance director. Khanya is passionate about alleviating the effects economic inequality for the most under-served South Africans and facilitating access to education (and other valuable opportunities for socio-economic empowerment) for women and young South Africans someday. Her long-term goal is to be an influential figure in the corporate financial services industry whilst also running a variety of initiatives aimed simply at improving the lives of as many South Africans as possible. 

Liz Mubari completed her O-levels at The Kenya High School in Nairobi, Kenya. She is currently studying towards a BSc (Eng.) in Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering. Liz formerly served as the Marketing Chair for Women in Engineering and as mentor at both the MasterCard Foundation and Baxter Hall Residence. She is currently the President of AIESEC, the world’s largest youth-run organization, in UCT and holds the Career Development and Corporate Relations portfolio in the Engineering and Built Environment Student Council. Liz is passionate about youth mentorship and initiatives that empower women, especially those in STEM fields and has been involved in several outreach projects in that regard.

Her long-term goal is to fuel the passion for innovation among the youth and empower people economically by providing modern sustainable solar power.

Patrick Okello Mwaka completed his A-levels in 2016 from King’s College Budo, Uganda. He is currently studying for a BSc. specialising in Civil Engineering at UCT. He is a whiteboard workshop tutor for Mathematics 1A and 1B for Engineers as well as a general committee member of SAICE UCT Chapter, 2020, with an emphasis on Structural Engineering. He is also the Director of Ryatumwa Enterprises, a liquid soap production company in Uganda. He is passionate about using civil engineering and community involvement as tools to develop African solutions to African problems. His long-term goals are to take part in major infrastructural developments within the continent, particularly in the low-cost housing sector and to set up community programmes to serve as a platform for sharing knowledge and skills for more inclusive and sustainable growth.

Penuel Nkosi is currently a BCom Financial Accounting student at UCT. He is a pioneer, passionate humanitarian and a change agent who has been able to actively mould young people from disadvantaged areas to unleash their potential through his tutoring, mentoring and career coaching. His work on youth empowerment and bridging differences between all generations landed him a spot to represent the youth of South Africa in SAIIA’s Young Leaders’ Conference of 2019.

He is currently the Treasurer of his residence - Clarinus Village and Finance Director of TDL – a UCT student-run debate-coaching league. Penuel believes in multidisciplinarianism and thus has multiple interests including economics, entrepreneurship, education, politics and social justice. As a youth activist, he believes in the inclusion of young people in policy formulation and implementation. He is a member of the Youth Policy Committee, UCT Debating Union and UNASA (UCT Chapter).

As an aspiring leader, he plans to use his financial skills to ensure that his vision of a South Africa that is free from corruption and that uses its resources to benefit the marginalised is indeed realised.

Reginald Nyakonda completed his A levels at Gateway High School Harare in 2016. He is currently studying towards a BScEng in Electrical Engineering and is a mentor for first year Electrical Engineering students as well as the degree representative for the Electrical Engineers Class of 2021. Reginald is a strong believer in gender equality in the workplace, quality education for all and adequate preparation for the fourth industrial revolution. He hopes to be at the forefront of coming up with sustainable, affordable and cleaner alternative forms of electricity and eradicate the power shortages in Africa. Outside school, Reginald is a rugby player in the internal rugby league and an avid chess player.

Fezeka Nzama matriculated from Creston College in 2017. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Business Science majoring in Computer Science at UCT. She is a former House Committee member, and current Sub-warden at her residence, as well as a founding member and Treasurer of StartUp Grind UCT. She is one of the founders of an NPO working in the South Coast of KZN, focusing on youth development and empowerment. Fezeka is passionate about technology, and education, with a particular interest in developing tech for the African context, allowing for the democratisation of a fulfilling learning experience for any child, regardless of economic standing. Fezeka believes that the true power of education lies in its ability to empower an individual to dream beyond the boundaries of their reality.  

Leago Sebesho matriculated as the Dux Scholar of Marist Brothers Linmeyer in 2015. Since 2016 she has been pursuing a Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery at UCT. She is passionate about youth development and empowerment and currently facilitates a youth development programme in rural Eastern Cape through which young learners get taught computer skills, receive education on feminine hygiene, sexual and reproductive health, career opportunities and personal development. She has led in various university structures including being the Deputy Chairperson of the Health Sciences Students’ Council, Convenor of Student Parliament and has served on the steering committee of SHAWCO Health. She believes that access to quality healthcare is a form of empowerment and dignifies people. She sees herself impacting the African health sector with research that serves to improve the continent’s health outcomes. Her long-term goal is to influence health policy, particularly that which affects women and children.

Mustapha Singlee matriculated top of his class at Cape Town High School. He is currently studying for a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Chemistry at UCT. He is a member of the Dell Young Leaders Program and serves as a junior consultant at The Consulting Academy at UCT, the first junior consulting enterprise in Cape Town. He is also a member of the International Indonesian Leadership Program which connects young leaders globally and seeks to educate them about the importance of leadership. . He is also a member of the Civic and Ratepayers Association in his community where he participates in discussions that seek to address unemployment and gentrification in his community. He also sits on the committee of an environmental protection program which seeks to foster an appreciation of the environment among the youth in his community. His interest lies in Medicinal Chemistry and he hopes to apply his knowledge of chemistry to generate solutions to diseases that afflict populations in South Africa and abroad.

Aviwe Vilane matriculated in 2017 from Harding Secondary School in KwaZulu-Natal. Aviwe’s preferred pronoun is “her/she.” She is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and is in her 3rd year. Formerly served as the Secretary of the South African Students Congress and as a mentor for Graca Machel Hall, Aviwe is currently the SRC Student Advocacy Coordinator and has been deployed to Senate. She is passionate about empowerment in the form of equitable justice. She has a small program in her community by which she helps matriculants apply for tertiary education due to the limited opportunities available to do so and offers varied support, especially to fem-bodied individuals. Her long-term goal is to address the many problems that plague society especially illiteracy and intolerance to diversity. She is devoted to occupying spaces which will manifest her aspiration.

Lucy Wills is currently working towards a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, having received the Twamley Undergraduate Scholarship based on her results in her first year of studies. She matriculated in 2017 from Westerford High School. Lucy is a Phaphama SEDI consultant, which connects a team of UCT students to a small business owner from Khayelitsha or Philippi. As a member of the NSTF Brilliants Programme, she has been exposed to many of South Africa’s key scientific innovations. Her vision for the long term is to become a sustainability advisor to government, project, businesses and communities, helping to develop and implement environmentally, socially and economically sustainable systems. Her key fields of interest are the creation of a circular economy, biotechnology and gender equality.